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Public Statements

Support the Affordable Care Act

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

Ms. RICHARDSON. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in opposition to the latest Republican attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act and to block meaningful health care reform. The Affordable Care Act has been upheld by the highest court, the United States Supreme Court, who found that this legislation was constitutional.

I rise today to stress my support of the Affordable Care Act and my opposition to the legislation brought before us today.

This legislation addresses the Affordable Health Care Act, millions of uninsured Americans, and it strengthens the Medicare system. It relieves all Americans of the growing financial burden and medical costs of insurance that many find tough to bear.

Let me talk a little bit about my district in California. In the 37th Congressional District, the benefits of this bill are already undisputable. There are now 23,000 children and 90,000 adults who have health care insurance that covers preventive services with no copays, co-insurance, or deductible. There will be 501 small businesses that will receive tax credits that will help them maintain or expand their health care coverage for their employees. Health care providers in my district have received $3.4 million in affordable care grants since 2010 to support community health centers, to develop innovative and cost-saving health care delivery systems, and to train new health care professionals. These statistics are not unique to my district. There are similar success stories emerging all over the country.

Let me speak a little bit about some of those general things that are happening. If you're a senior, based upon the Affordable Care Act now, you are receiving a 50 percent discount on brand-name drugs when you are in Medicare and you experience the doughnut hole coverage gap. You have free key preventive services such as mammograms, colonoscopies, and a free annual well-visit with your physician. If you're a woman, you now have free coverage of lifesaving preventive services such as mammograms. Beginning in August, free coverage will also include additional comprehensive women-preventive services, including breast feeding support, contraception, and domestic violence screening.

If you're a parent and you have a child who is under the age of 19, they can't be denied coverage by an insurance company because of a preexisting condition. If you're an adult, you can now join or stay on your parents' health plan until you're 26 years old. Those are for our young adults. If you're a small business owner, you will be one of the millions who will be eligible as a small business owner to receive tax credits if you choose to offer coverage to your employees.

Mr. Speaker, the Affordable Care Act was a long-overdue bill that corrects deep injustices and access to health care. The Affordable Care Act should be an act that is respected and upheld by this House. It has gone through the proper channels of legislation and now has been validated by the United States Supreme Court.

Mr. Speaker, all Americans--young, old, rich, and poor--have an inalienable right to health care and to be able to prosper. To be able to prosper, you need to be healthy.

I ask my colleagues to support the Affordable Care Act and to join me in fierce opposition to repealing the advances in health care that we already won. When we look forward, we must focus on implementing the affordable health care bill and focus on getting Americans back to work.

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